Posts Tagged ‘God’

Beloved

Posted: August 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
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The Bible says that we are Beloved by God. While I firmly believe it’s true, I have to admit that my feelings don’t always match up. In other words, I don’t always feel as though I’m Beloved. If I followed my feelings (rather than scripture), I’d probably never believe I was good enough to Be Loved.

However, Romans 5:8 gives us the assurance that God deeply loves us. That verse says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus died on the cross while we were still in our sin, without any requirement that we clean ourselves up or get our messy lives back on track first. At the very point when we were at our worst, Christ responded in love, not anger or punishment. Many have laid down their lives for their friends; others for complete strangers; but Only One was willing to die for His enemies — Jesus. We cannot save ourselves because we need to be saved from ourselves. Jesus is the Only One who can save us, and His gift of forgiveness is available to all who call upon His name and ask for it.

God’s love heals; not hurts. It builds up; not tears down. God’s love empowers; not controls. We have to remember that we live in a sin-filled world and that people (not God) hurt us. Wounded hearts keep a record of wrongs, and our defense mechanism is to guard our hearts behind a brick wall. Each time we are hurt, we put another stone on top. This is effective in keeping people at a distance, but those same cinder blocks have a major downside: they also keep God’s love out.

If you really want to be His Beloved, you have to be willing to Be Loved. God’s love for you is strong, and if you allow Him access to your heart, He will destroy the brickwork separating you from Him. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior instantly makes you a princess of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Your King is on His throne and you are His prized, cherished, respected, and esteemed treasure. Accept His gift. Allow yourself to Be Loved so you can be His Beloved princess.

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The Pattern

Posted: February 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  God’s word tells us that we are made in His image. God does not reflect us — we reflect Him. He is the Pattern — we are the copy.

In business, the quality of a copy hinges on whether it is a duplicate of the original document or another photocopy. The same is true in life. God is the Pattern, and He must be our go-to source if we want to reproduce His qualities in our lives. Yet instead of mimicking Him, we get consumed with mimicking His copies. And when we do that, we become a very poor reflection of who God is.

My own father showed little interest in me as his daughter. I spent so many years believing the lie that God was just like my dad — uninterested and unavailable. But that belief was both twisted and untrue. My Heavenly Father is the Pattern, and my dad is simply a poor reflection. God was available to be copied, but my dad chose not to reproduce the Pattern in his own life. We can either be a reflection of the original Pattern, or we can be a reflection of a poor-quality copy.

Who do you Pattern yourself after? Let God be your Pattern. Look to Him. He is always available and can be duplicated at any time.

Examine

Posted: November 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The battle of Jericho is told in Joshua 6:1 — when Joshua and the people of Israel, led by priests blowing trumpets, marched around Jericho’s outer walls once a day for six straight days. Then, on the seventh day, the procession of priests and people marched around the city seven times. Upon completing the seventh lap, Joshua told the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city.” Then the Lord God did what only he could: at the unified shout of his people, the walls of Jericho crumbled and fell to the ground. The Lord God commanded that the silver, gold and containers made of bronze and iron were to taken and placed in the treasury of the Lord — all other property was devoted (marked) for destruction. Everyone obeyed — except one man. His name was Achan, and the Israelites were about to learn just how devastating the sin of one man could be.

In preparation for their next battle, Joshua sent men to spy out the land of the Amorites. Seeing that they were few in number, the spies returned to Joshua and reported that the Amorites would be easily defeated. And they would have been, except the Lord had removed his hand of protection because of Achan’s sin. So when the Israelites attacked the Amorites, it was the Amorites, and not the Israelites, who were victorious. Instead of cries of victory, the Israelite camp was filled with cries of mourning and wailing. Defeated and dejected, Joshua tore his clothes, put dust on his head, and lay with his face toward the ark of the Lord. When he asked the Lord God why they had lost the battle, the Lord replied: “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.” (Joshua 7:10-12)

Joshua called all the people to stand before him, so he could Examine them. When it was discovered that Achan had kindled the Lord’s anger, Achan confessed saying, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” (Joshua 7:20-21)

Achan deliberately disobeyed God’s command — he knew he was not to take anything from Jericho. But when he saw beautiful, valuable things, he was so attracted to the thought of possessing them that he took them, in direct disobedience to God’s command. He allowed desire, rather than discipline, to rule his heart.

Sometimes we commit subtle sins. And other times we directly disobey God’s commands. Yet too often, like Achan, rather than confess our sin, we bury it, hoping to keep it a secret. What about you? Do you know what is hidden underneath the tent of your heart? Sit before the Lord God. Give him permission to Examine your heart, and allow him to show you any areas he wants to change. The Lord God is a gentleman — he does not come at us with condemnation. Instead, cloaked in gentleness and love, he reveals what we have hidden. God already knows what we have done, so confession isn’t for him — it’s for us. Confession is the vehicle which transfers our sin from us to Jesus. Jesus becomes the new owner because he paid the price for it. Sin, once it is confessed, no longer belongs to you. So if you find yourself carrying it around, put it down — it’s not yours to carry anymore.

Only One

Posted: October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Did Jesus really have to die in order to save us from our sin? If you have ever asked that question, you are not alone. Jesus asked his Father that very question. And he didn’t just ask it once — he asked it three times.

On the very night he was betrayed, Jesus lead his disciples into the garden of Gethsemane and tells them that his soul is sorrowful, even to death (Mark 14:34). He falls down on his face and prays to his Father (Matthew 26:39). Being in agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:44).

During that intense time of prayer, Jesus asks his Father the same question three separate times: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  The question Jesus asks is a valid one: Do I really have to die on the cross? Or is there another way? Yet without any hesitation, Jesus surrenders his will: “Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

In the midst of turmoil, as the will of Jesus collides with the will of God, Jesus begins praying, laying everything down — his questions, doubts, and concerns — at the feet of the Father, knowing that the Father is the Only One who can handle them.

In times of crisis and pain, when darkness threatens to overtake you, seek out the Lord God. He is the Only One who knows the future, the Only One who can answer your questions and remove your fear, and the Only One who can give you the wisdom you need. He is the Only One who can save you from your sin, and the Only One who can bring healing and wholeness into your life. He is the Only One who is available 24/7 so call upon him — he is faithful and he will answer you.

Pursued

Posted: February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Jeremiah 44:2-5 says, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the disaster that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. Behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of the evil they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they nor you, nor your fathers. Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘Oh, do not do this abomination that I hate!’  But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods.”

When we worship God, we reflect back to him our acknowledgement of who he is – the 1 true God: the Maker and Creator of the universe, our Provider, our Protector, and our Savior. Our relationship with God is a covenant: just like a wedding, we vow to remain in the relationship for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. In worship, we re-pledge our love and commitment – that we will maintain our covenant relationship with him, even when our circumstances and our feelings threaten to lead us astray.

Every day you are Pursued – by your Deliverer (God) and your Destroyer (Satan). The Deliverer wants to give you joy. The Destroyer wants to steal it. The Deliverer truly loves you and will remain faithful and committed to you through the ups and downs of your walk with him, unlike the Destroyer who will never stop reminding you of sin that God has forgiven and forgotten. If painful circumstances and trials have led you astray, turn back. Your Deliverer deeply loves you and wants a personal, committed relationship with you. Enter into worship re-pledge your vow to him. Whom will you worship today? It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

Consumed

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Ephesians 4:26-27 says “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” According to God’s word, we have permission to experience the emotion of anger, but we are not allowed to follow our emotions into sin. Left unchecked, anger can become an all consuming fire which will burn every area of your life, destroying all it touches. As the sun dipping below the horizon gives way to darkness, so hearts that allow anger to set in invite dark shadows to enter. At the point that we allow anger to own us, we open the door of our hearts to the devil. Satan’s whispered lies start to sound credible, and as we accept his lies over God’s truth, the light of God’s word gets pushed out, sinking our hearts down deeper and deeper into utter darkness. God commands us to forgive others for our OWN protection. Letting anger control you is a one-way ticket into the dark pit of resentment, bitterness, envy, jealousy and wrath. Forgiveness isn’t a stamp of approval – it’s a release: When you forgive someone, you release them from the responsibility of healing the pain they inflicted by their actions. The person who injured you cannot heal you — that is something only your Heavenly Father can do. Don’t hold onto anger. Let God’s consuming fire devour it before it devours you.